(1849 - 1928)
Born on April 6, 1849 at Chimsura, Bengal to Syed Saadat Ali, Syed Ameer Ali was a man of many parts. Distinguished in the history and practice of
law, a daring pioneer in the task of political organization of the Muslims of Indo-Pakistan sub-continent, eminent as a historian of
Islam, deeply connected with the fortunes of Muslim lands, a defender of the faith against the ignorance and prejudice of the West,
an informed critic of British Imperial policies in India, a prolific and persuasive writer and a scholar equally at home in the
knowledge of the West and the wisdom of the East.
He was educated at Hughli College from where he did his M.A. and B.L. He was called to the bar at the Inner Temple, England in 1873.
Syed Ameer Ali was the first Muslim Barrister of Calcutta High Court. He remained a member of the Bengal Legislative Council
(1878-79 and 1881-85) and was a nominated Member of the Imperial Legislative Council (1884-85). He was also named as Law Professor,
Calcutta University (1881). As a Judge of Calcutta High Court (1890-1904) he was the first Muslim to sit on Calcutta Bench. He
realized the need for the political training of Indian Muslims and founded the National Mohammedan Association (later Central
National Mohammedan Association) in 1877.
Syed Ameer Ali was President, London Branch of the All-India Muslim League in 1908 and played a leading part in securing separate
electorates for Muslims under the Minto Morley Reforms Act. As an ardent pan-Islamist he was deeply concerned with the fate of
Khilafat and of Turkey. He organized the Red Crescent Society during the Balkan war to help the Muslim side.
He authored a number of books such as 'Critical Examination of the Life and Teachings of Mohammad (PBUH)', 'Spirit of Islam', 'Ethics
of Islam', 'A Short History of Saracens', 'Personal Law of the Mohammadens', 'Student's Handbook of Muhammadan Law', 'Mohammedan Law',
and 'The Legal Position of Women in Islam'. He was joint author of A Commentary on the Indian Evidence Act, and of A Commentary on the
Bengal Tenancy Act. He frequently wrote articles in The Nineteenth Century, and wrote letters to the Times, London. His articles have
been compiled by Dr. S. Razi Wasti under the title. Memories and other Writings of Syed Ameer Ali; Syed Ameer Ali on Islamic History
and Culture. Dr. K. K. Aziz has also done the same job by publishing a book titled: Life and Works of Syed Ameer Ali.
He died in England on August 3, 1928.